Hello again readers, friends and family. Thank you for joining me to review “The Not-So-Rose Colored Glasses”. It is a solid episode dabbled with humorous bits and it is quite enjoyable. It treats us to only one guest star, but the part he played is a memorable one. It’s the second time something is broken in the house and the kids must scheme under the radar to see it is fixed. This time however, their intentions are much more noble than when Carol’s favorite vase was shattered. Let us begin our review of “The Not-So-Rose Colored Glasses”!
The episode opens with a location shot. Jan is riding her bicycle down the streets of some nameless suburb. Back at the Brady house, Mike and Alice discuss their scheme to get Carol out of the house. Mike is having a photo taken of the children as a surprise anniversary gift for Carol. Alice is faking a toothache so that Carol will have to take her to the dentist. Let’s hope it was actually time for her regular checkup/cleaning because seeing how her tooth really didn’t hurt, that would make an awkward trip to the dentist chair, not to mention paying for the visit. “Oh hi doctor, the man I work for needed his wife out of the house…..” In a funny line, as Alice feigns her toothache and need to see a dentist and Carol expresses her concern, Alice says, “I wouldn’t dream of letting you drive me” before Carol has even offered such. In a chuckle worthy line, after Alice has left the room, Mike says to Carol “Poor Alice”. For some reason I just got a kick out of Robert Reed delivering this line. Mike and Carol soon receive a call from the man who oversees the playground stating that Jan left there riding another girl’s bicycle. There is even an eyewitness who said she stole it! This eyewitness must be some kid who likes drama. To say he/she “witnessed” Jan “stealing” the bike would suggest that Jan was seen sawing the lock off and darting away or that it was pointed out to Jan that wasn’t her bike and she replied to some effect she was aware of that and rode away.
As soon as Jan is home, things are cleared up and what should have been Mike and Carol’s first thought is confirmed. Jan took the wrong bike by mistake. Carol even acknowledges the similarity between this bike and Jan’s. This bicycle must be a dead ringer for Jan’s as the only difference that is pointed out is that Jan’s has some damaged chrome over the front wheel. Jan is told to return the wrong bike and hurry back so she and her siblings can go have their picture made.
To keep Carol fooled, Alice has crammed some chewing gum along her jaw to suggest it is swollen. It is totally unnecessary as one can have a severe toothache without having a swollen jaw. Carol states she thought Alice’s toothache was on the other side of her mouth as they leave for the dentist. As soon as both ladies are out the door, Mike summons the kids and they all come downstairs dressed in their finest duds. It is a good thing Carol didn’t bother to poke her head in their bedroom doors and tell them she was leaving! She’d have known something was up when she saw them all dressed up.
The next scene is one of the funniest of the third season, if not the series. The photographer, Gregory Gaynor, is a memorable one time character. After Mike says the positioning of the children looks great, Gregory Gaynor says it would to an amateur (pronounced by him as ama-teer) but not to Gregory Gaynor. Then he doesn’t reposition the kids at all! Just as he is about to snap the photo, he realizes he forgot to put film in the camera. After rummaging through some things, he finds the film and puts it in the camera. Again, just before snapping the picture, he realizes he has forgotten something else. He wants to use color film, but inserted black and white. As he struggles to get the film back out of the camera Mike even asks if he needs a hand. I only noticed this on the third playback of the scene. It was a nice subtle touch. After the film debacle is resolved and the picture taken, Gregory Gaynor says, “That was perfect kids, now lets take some better ones.” With the picture taken, Mike and Gregory discuss the final details. Gregory says he will have the picture delivered and Mike explicitly instructs him not to as the picture is a surprise anniversary gift. Gregory Gaynor likes surprises. He asks Mike how long he has been married and Mike replies three years. It’s the first blended family reference on the show in some time. Upon seeing that Mike has six kids after being married three years, Gregory laments how everything nowadays is “rush, rush, rush”.
Gregory Gaynor (listed in the credits as Mr. Gaylord) was played by Robert Nadder. This episode was his first on camera appearance per IMDB. It would be one of two appearances on The Brady Bunch. While never having a recurring role, he would go on to appear on several other hit shows like Starsky and Hutch, Knot’s Landing and My Two Dads. He also appeared in a number of feature films to include “Foxy Brown”, “The Main Event” and “Love At First Bite”. His final acting credit was in 1993 in a film titled “Assolto per aver commesso il fatto.” Robert Nadder died in 1995. He has no Wikipedia page and there was not much additional information available online about him.
The episode’s b-plot begins in the next scene. Carol has received a letter from Jan’s teacher stating her grades are slipping. In 9th grade (1992) I had an old fashioned teacher call my mom about some slipping grades. I am sure an earlier era would have seen a letter go home. Perhaps some readers with school age children can confirm if teachers still make outreaches like this. Jan is summoned to Mike’s den where he and Carol notice Jan struggling to read the letter. It is suspected here that Jan might need glasses. Jan is quite distraught at the idea. She fears she will look goofy and Vernon McGuire will go bananas. Carol asks if that is bad and Jan confirms such. I was kind of curious myself as I would have thought “going bananas” meant crazy in a good way.
It is a new day and Mike is arriving home. As he heads to the house, he is instructed by Alice to follow her to the garage. The mixed up photographer has delivered the photo, even after Mike instructed him not to. Alice hid it in the garage since Carol had all ready searched that location high and low for her anniversary gift. Instead of hiding it again, Alice leaves it out in the open in plain sight. I sure hope nothing happens to it!
Jan and Carol are arriving home in the next scene. Bobby and Cindy discuss Jan’s new look while working a jigsaw puzzle. Cindy suspects Jan will look funny in her glasses and Bobby has all ready taken to calling her four eyes. Mike enters and says there’ll be no more of that kind of talk. Jan feels low enough being bespectacled and comments like that will only make things worse. Jan enters and Mike tells her how nice she looks and Bobby and Cindy agree. The scene continues here and includes a part that must have been cut from syndication. Bobby and Cindy stare awkwardly at Jan and she instructs them to confess how they really feel about how she looks. Bobby and Cindy continue to share how nice Jan looks with a barbed compliment that she looks like a school teacher. Cindy has a funny line and says they are not saying nice things because Mike told them to. Bobby boasts he didn’t even call her four eyes once. Jan walks away irked.
Despite a scolding from Marcia, Jan doesn’t wear her glasses when going to the library to see Vernon McGuire. If she was going there to meet him to study or something like that, there must have been a lot of squinting and confusion on her part. Perhaps even Vernon suggested Jan needed glasses.
Jan’s failure to adorn her glasses will result in some major problems. While arriving home from the library, Jan’s impaired vision prevents her from seeing the garage wall that lies before her. The garage wall where the photo Mike is giving Carol sits! Jan smashes into the photo, ruining it. Okay readers, if Jan’s vision was this poor, how did she even make it home from the library? If her vision impairment also has her depth perception so skewed, she should not be riding a bike, or even walking, on a city street! Perhaps she is stricken with tunnel vision as she failed to notice the garage walls around her as she continued barreling into the garage. It wasn’t like she was slowing down either! Her collision with the photo/wall left her and her bicycle laying on the ground. The level of the destruction of the photo makes obvious it took one strong hit! Greg tells Jan, ” Boy, have you done it.”
The next scene has Carol still searching for her anniversary gift. Mike catches her in the act and she feigns searching for a sweater. This scene must have been filmed late into the day/evening. That is the most unkempt I recall ever seeing Robert Reed while playing Mike Brady.
Any repair efforts put forth by the kids prove to be futile. The picture is ruined and must be retaken. Jan called the photographer and he has lost the negative. To Greg’s relief, the photographer says he won’t have to charge for another negative, but in a funny line has shared he will have to charge for another photograph. Kudos to the writers of this episode for even mentioning the possible solution of a negative and working a funny line into it. Jan hits her brothers up for a temporary loan, but they are all tapped out. The same applies to her sisters. We get the first “dumb Cindy” line a while as she says she could loan Jan her coin collection, but she hasn’t started it yet. Jan states she has a way to get the money, but won’t share how.
The next day, the kids attempt to sneak out of the house in their best attire. Greg says he has a hot date to meet a girl at the pizza place and wants to look really heavy. Peter and Bobby tell Alice their play clothes are clean, but their nice clothes are kind of dirty. So, they are looking to further dirty their nice clothes and keep their play clothes clean. It’s an absurd line and premise. On any other episode, Alice would have sent them right back up stairs to change out of their suits. Can you imagine Bobby coming home with the red dirt of a baseball field smeared across his suit or Peter’s slacks smelling like swamp water after catching frogs? To Alice’s credit, she states she does detect some “fancy footwork”. Alice then fires up the vacuum. The sound effect has changed since we last saw her clean the carpet. It sounds like an actual vacuum this time and not a ray gun from a science fiction show. The noise of the vacuum allows the girls to slip unnoticed past Alice. They are confronted instead by Carol at the front door. Marcia says they decided it would be fun to dress this way. Carol is suspicious but not deducing enough to figure out this could be related to the anniversary gift she’s been searching high and low for.
The photographer is just as befuddled as he was before. Greg notices the kids are not standing in the same position as before. Cindy and Jan trade places . Gregory Gaynor reminds the children he took the photo and remembers their positions exactly. He then realizes they were correct in repositioning themselves. The funny scene continues as Bobby asks if there is film in the camera. Gregory Gaynor assures him there is. Peter then asks if it is color film and he too is assured. However, the photographer then checks to make sure it is color film. I bet this man took some wonderful pictures as his subjects were often laughing and smiling at his absent minded nature.
Things wrap up quickly from here. It is the day of the wedding anniversary and Carol and Alice are making breakfast. We get the first line from Alice in a while to suggest she is a lonely old maid. Carol says “You know how husbands are” and Alice replies she does not, but wishes she did. Mike enters and gives Alice the signal to summon the rest of the family. There is a brief moment of affection between the two before the kids come busting in with their anniversary gifts. Carol opens Mike’s gift first and asks how the kids managed to sneak out. Does she not recall confronting the girls at the door a few days before? She then delights that Jan wore her glasses in the photo. This clues Mike in that the photo was not the same one taken when he was present. Upon confronting Jan, she fesses up to what happened to the first picture. The episode’s talking to reminds her how dangerous it was to be without her glasses while riding her bicycle. The punishment given is a two week grounding from her bicycle. Ever the noble Brady, Jan says this punishment won’t suffice as she sold her bicycle to pay for the photo replacement. Mike determines that to be punishment enough and suggests they might find a way to buy the two wheeler back.
The epilogue has Carol hanging the photo in the bedroom. It appears to be taking the place of the wedding photo that hung there previously. During the epilogue we learn that Alice’s dentist found three cavities during her visit for the fake toothache.
“The Not -So-Rose Colored Glasses” is The Brady Bunch in top form. The episode’s plot is very believable with some good doses of humor included (Cindy’s coin collection line notwithstanding). The only real issue I have is Jan’s vision impairment that saw her going full speed into the garage and Alice allowing Bobby and Peter to go play while wearing suits. The acting is solid all around and Robert Nadder played a very funny guest role. Next week we will review “The Teeter-Totter Caper”. See you then!